Early this morning I was reading a book that’s a series of interviews with my therapist, Michael Eigen. The interviewer asked him, “Do you believe in God?” And Mike said something like: “Yes… and maybe I’m agnostic…and atheist.”
Which is kind of how I feel about God…and about marriage (or any long-term relationship.)
Twenty-four years ago today, Labor Day, Steve and I went out on our first date. It was a blind date, arranged by our dear friend, Mona. I immediately liked the sound of his voice on the phone when we first spoke. I changed my clothes at least four times before he arrived. And the first date was brilliant, couldn’t have been better. We went to see an obscure independent film, “Sugar Cane Alley,” had dinner at a charming French restaurant “Le Cukoo,” sat at the Bel Air Hotel’s pool and couldn’t stop talking. We had (and continue to have) similar values: both lifelong liberal Democrats, love movies, travel, books, good food – have somewhat different temperaments (I’m more extroverted, he’s more of a loner). The date was so good that I was convinced we would get married.
The second date stunk. It was as if aliens had abducted Robin and Steve and sent in clones who were speaking Russian and Portuguese. (I think it was too much pressure.) The third date (initiated by me) was okay. Good. And that pretty much sums up the history of our marriage. Great highs, pretty bad lows, and lots of years of in between.
The highs: moving to NY from LA, buying our first home – a loft in SoHo, the birth of our beloved daughter, Zoe. Years of professional success which enabled Steve to travel around the world and me to write and stay at home for Zoe, a book published, readings of plays and screenplays with some of the finest actors in NYC, wonderful vacations, summer trips to California, our two amazing dogs, Lucy and Lola, a move to Brooklyn and a great neighborhood, Fort Greene.
The lows: selling the loft because of financial stresses, career slumps, boring jobs, a dog that has peed all over our home and has been known to eat shit (we still love her), loss of close friends and family (both our fathers), bouts of depression, individual therapy, family therapy and marriage counseling, close friends battling illnesses, and the long time care-taking of my mother, who has survived hospice twice, four different nursing homes and rehab.
The in betweens. Life.
Over these 24 years I’ve cheated on Steve many times. First, in the 80’s with Harrison Ford, then Brad Pitt (thanks to Thelma and Louise), George Clooney, Colin Firth, that brief rendezvous at the Mercer Hotel with Al Gore, (which I wrote about a few days ago), and now Javier Bardem and I are an item.
But as of today, September 1, 2008, I still love Steve. And I can’t stand him. And if he ever needed a kidney (God forbid) – I’d be first in line.